The country has been adding 1 million new infections every four to six days since late November, and the total US case count topped 21 million Tuesday. A record 131,100 people are currently hospitalized with coronavirus across the nation, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
It will likely get worse. Experts have said that holiday travel and gatherings could help fuel another surge of infections.
In California, officials say ICU units in at least two regions are filled to practical capacity. Some EMTs have had to wait with patients outside hospitals for hours because the facilities don’t immediately have space to take them in.
As the numbers spike, governors are now taking new measures to get the vaccines that have been distributed into arms faster, including mobilizing National Guard members and training more volunteers to administer shots.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: How much will a Covid-19 vaccine cost?
A: The federal government has said any coronavirus vaccine will be provided to the American public for free. And that promise is unlikely to change under a Biden administration.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
WHO team blocked from entering China to study initial outbreak
at a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday. “I have been in contact with senior Chinese officials and I have once again made clear that the mission is a priority for WHO and the international team.”
Tedros said two scientists on the team had already left their home countries for Wuhan when they were told that Chinese officials had not approved the necessary permissions to enter the country.
These arrangements had been jointly agreed with China in advance, according to the WHO. China has said that it remains in close contact with the agency about finalizing arrangements for a visit to Wuhan.
New variant runs rampant in the UK
The good news, according to the UK’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance, is that it is “unlikely” that the vaccines will not work against this strain.
‘End silence about what Covid-19 is doing to US prisons’, Warren says
ON OUR RADAR
- Germany will extend its national lockdown — which had been in place until January 10 — until the end of the month and will further tighten restrictions on movement and contact.
- He was skeptical of Covid-19. Now, from his hospital bed, he urges others to wear their masks.
- One hospital system is offering its employees a $500 bonus if they get a vaccine.
- A Covid-19 outbreak that tore through a New York convent infected 47 sisters and killed nine.
- North Korea just held a major political meeting with about 5,000 people — and there wasn’t a mask in sight.
- The Grammy Awards ceremony, which celebrates the best in music, has been postponed until March as coronavirus cases skyrocket in Los Angeles.
- A woman who gave birth while intubated has named her ICU nurse as the baby’s godmother.
- President Trump would not be welcome in Scotland due to coronavirus restrictions, says Scotland’s leader.
- South Korea will test every prisoner in the country for Covid-19.
Motivating kids to do schoolwork was hard enough in pre-pandemic times. For many parents heading into another semester online, it’s more than everyone can handle.
“If you can come up with a vaccine within a year, why are we sitting in a community where there is no grocery store with fresh fruits and vegetables?” — Rochelle Sykes, Austin, Chicago resident